clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Where was each element discovered? This periodic table tells you

periodic table

(Jamie Gallagher)

Most periodic tables tell you the atomic number of each element.

This one, created by Jamie Gallagher — a scientist and public engagement officer at the University of Glasgow — provides a bit of geographical context. For each element discovered in modern times, the table shows the country (or countries) of discovery.

Looking at the table reveals some interesting trends. In general, elements with higher atomic numbers have been discovered more recently. The UK leads all nations with 23 elements discovered, but the table shows that its dominance in the field has dried up: all but one of its discoveries came before 1861.

A few other countries — namely, the US and Germany — have taken up the slack. Of the 26 confirmed elements discovered since World War I, American or German scientists have been involved in the discoveries of 23 of them.

(h/t Historical Pics)

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Vox Recommends

Get curated picks of the best Vox journalism to read, watch, and listen to every week, from our editors.